My Writing

A place for me to put poetry, short stories, tidbits and musings.


"Inanimate Object"

I hear everything. Discussions, hello's, goodbye's, catch-ups and break-ups and directions and warnings. I hear it all. From good news to bad news and anywhere in between. And if they don't like what they hear, they take it out on me. I've been slapped, punched, drop-kicked, chucked, thrown (overhand when the news is especially unwanted, and underhanded occassionally just for fun). The problem is, to them, I don't hear: I talk. 


"Cat" A Haiku

Cat licking her paw
With the fire behind her, sits
Primly on table.


Cat licking her paw
Sits with the fire behind her,
Primly on table.

"What I Come Home For"

Her eyes are huge
And her hair is long
the color of nutmeg.

She laughs
tells poor jokes
gets annoying,
And cries
too easily
yet I would
the world
to hear another
knock-knock joke.


Feeling flares through my body



Unasked for

And not entirely backed up by my mind's





Sudden, slow, and frightening, is this descent into feeling.

"The Toucan In The Living Room"

When I am older,
I shall eat from brightly colored dishes,
And I will decorate my shelves
With antiquated lunchboxes and archaic puzzles
Beside Fischer Price toys they don’t make anymore.
And all the chipped paint will radiate brighter
Than the neon glow from battery powered toys.

My bathroom will be done in dizzying zebra stripes.
Dr. Suess’ imaginations will be boring when compared.
Well-weeded tulip gardens out front
Will be trampled by careless, rambunctious feet and
Mis-thrown balls and out-of-control tricycles
That have no regard for “off-limit” beauty.

The boys’ room will be fashioned after a pirate ship
(With less swearing, but lots of Scallywagging)
And the girls will pause from dressing their dolls
To give the boys what-for.
Rather than shouting over the racket,
“It’s all fun and games until someone loses an eye!”
I will be handing out eye patches
And swinging from the rafters!

When guests come over they will find me
Exploding things in the kitchen
In my Betty Crocker apron.
There will be small muddy handprints on a once-white T-shirt
From making mud pies under the swing set.
My curly hair will be as big as it wants.
(They may accuse me of resurrecting the 80’s.)
And they will leave saying in surprise:
“I’ve never seen such a lady!”

For I will have them placing their tea saucer right on top their hats
And feeding their unfinished crumpets and scones
To the Toucan in the living room.
They will always leave with a story
But be surprised by what I won’t say.
Family-in-Law will look dazed,
But mostly try to get over it.
Bible verses can be read throughout the house:
In actions but sometimes in words.

From the lips of little ones
I will learn profound life lessons
And I will let four-year-olds paint my fingernails.
And I shall be Mother, Lover, and Friend,
But most of all Child,
When I am older.


Swoop of dark hair

Over mulberry cheeks.

Understated rose mouth lets

Secretive olive eyes steal you.

Dancing together in the dark,

Anything but romantic.

Someday we’ll go clubbing

We said

Now sing for me again.

Cappuccino skin scared of heartbreak,

I dare you

Says her smile,

But I know you won’t

Says her heart.

Chocolát in Flamenco skirt.

"Shadow Of death"

Yesterday we took a hike
With an old man.
We kept our eyes on the ground
To keep from stumbling
While green reached up everywhere
Around us.
We passed an old tree
Fallen over and decaying,
Unnatural as a beached whale.
We walked around it
There was a slight pause in the air
A slightly held breath
I saw the gapes and holes
And felt slightly unwell.
We moved on
It had only been a moment
Yet I still recall it
Even after I stood at the top
And looked over the sea of the living.
I do not remember
Noticing it as we left
As we drove away,
Hills of rust rising out of shallow waters,
And slanting in toward the road
I held your hand
While the old man slept.

"The Heartbreak Of Everyone"

Why must we grasp for words
That say what we're not really saying
And under all the words that miss,
That feeling
That feeling
That space.

That breathes:

Melancholy and beauty.

But since that won't take you
Where I am
I'll tell you a story about a broken girl
And you'll read it and get
That feeling
That feeling

Leaning back, holding on to that space of melancholy and beauty.
And that empty and hollow place will feel emptier than ever
When it recognizes...something's missing.

"That's beautiful,"
You'll breath.

Yet I have one thing left to say,
And though the words are simple,
And Transparent
They are packed with the meaning of 19 years
And may amount to the greatest, saddest sense of failure
I have ever experienced.
The words are this:

I would give anything
To go back to that place
Where love was


Yet now that I look, what I see there,

Is as far from fear

As I can imagine.

There is, after all,

Nothing frightening about your eyes

Besides my feelings

And your strength --

But my feelings have found an harbor,

How like starlight,

How like a lighthouse,

Are your eyes.

They penetrate me at the same time as they invite.

There are no lies or pretenses in you.

You are not Truth,

But it becomes you.

If I were to describe your actions,

They would be Truthful.

And when such windows look into mine,

Hiding nothing and expecting to find nothing hidden,

Nothing unlike you,

I find a mirror --

Startlingly like me,

The sun where I am shadow,

The reflection where I am sky.

Every dormant molecule

Roars to life.

Shaking everything

Knowing nothing,

Save that it is alive.

I permit my own curiosity

The right to search

And in legalizing my search for you

You lose none of your appeal.

Mostly I am lost in wondering,

"What should I do with my hands?"

How do I stop this shivering,

This fire,

This thrilled panic?

Can I just sit close, touching somehow,

To still myself.

Calmly, in time with your breathing,

My mind starts to work again

Ere you stir again

And joy courses through my body

Stabbing cruelly in my belly.

When I looked at your face

After you were somewhat, somehow


And I saw a look I had not yet seen before

A very grown-up look

`Till you caught me staring

Smiling, unknowing

What I had just thought:

How my affection had just grown more in an instant.

Why it can now,

Since you are mine.

I have never been more proud of this word,


And the sweet peace, the comfort, how right it feels,

The freedom it grants

Oh, how foolish my fears were!

Yet I hardly know the person who sits there,

Looking gently,

Looking the very essence of "mine"

With dark curls `round his head that beg to be touched,

With arms I want to be held by,

With hugs I miss though I have never known,

With shoulders built to be leaned against,

With hands made for holding.

Sitting there, rather unaware

Of what HE is unintentionally screaming at me.

(Quiet, perhaps, with thoughts of his own. --

Smiling, perhaps, with his own secrets.)

We sit like matching book-ends on the couch,

Reading each other.

"Hair and Attitude"

I am always trying to find
Or maybe I already have
And I’m just not satisfied
With who I found.
I seem to think it’s hair and attitude
And no one’s ever satisfied with their own.
If I could only write well enough
To satisfy the reasons
Or understand the things that come so easily
To people I want to be like.

I’m working on keeping my mouth shut
More often than I do.
But all these opinionated proclamations
Are just me bouncing my ideas off
Hair and attitudes.
To help me form my own.
If I could only embody that girl’s
Luscious unconcern
As she slouches down hallways in hoodies.
And the opinionated proclamations wonder
Whose hair and attitude is she admiring.

To shave my heard or tie my hair
Into ropes of unconcern
And my attitude would have time
To untangle its own snares.
So I ask you
With your own compilation of hair and attitudes
How far will I go to shift this changing muddle
Into me.

Short Stories
"Bale County Happenings"

Part 1

"Five Straws" had finally come to town. The youth of Bale County had been waiting for this event for months. With little else to think about, they had spent far too much time preparing for it. The big barn on the Adam's property had been decorated, so early, in fact, that folks got tired of it and it had been redecorated several times. In fact, there had been fueds over it, in true Bale County style. Was it to be an apple theme, or a pumpkin theme? This was rather parallel to the romantic situation of the young people. Dates had been gotten so far in advance that they had been lost equally in advance. In all the paranoia over being dateless, most folk ended up being dateless in the end anyway.


His name was Brett, and he was tall and rougish with faux-hawked blonde hair and a euro jacket. A shiny red guitar was strapped across his torso.


Part 2

Marie arrived late, even though she had set aside the whole day to prepare. Too many hours of piling make-up on, and Momma sent her back to her room just five minutes before the dance. Still, nothing could ruin this night. She came into the room, the dance already under way. Boots were thumping, skirts were swishing, and the swept-clean wooden floor was shaking. Marie's face was shining pink and fresh from the recent scrubbing. There was a glow about her. Sixteen, and still unmarried. Ruffly, modest dress the color of a lazy blue sky. Softly curling light brown hair, with a large ribbon holding the top half of it away from her simple, radiant face. Her tiny, buttoned kid boots were not still for long. Her small white hands remained clasped patiently behind her scarcely another moment.

Fred was at her side as soon as the song was over. He was not an attractive boy, but Marie didn't really have anyone to compare him to. She would have asked him to take her to the dance, but Fred had asked Julie to go before Marie got a chance. Now, however, pretty Julie was off swooning at the feet of the band. Marie was not intelligent or brave enough to intentionally snub Fred, but ignored him instead out of innocence as her eyes settled on the "Five Straws." The room had cleared when folks made their way to the walls to await the next song. No one stood between her and the band, and she felt magnetized towards them. Five of the most beautiful boys in the world stood on that makeshift stage in the Adam's barn in Bale County. Yet Marie only saw one.


Part 3

One song, one dance. If you only had one left, you should pick a rousing county favorite at a square dance. You could not choose better, to describe the aliveness of life. Marie didn't know if she would ever dance with Brett again. The band was playing a song without their lead guitarist, his one free song of the night. Marie knew that it was the single most exciting moment of her life thus far, and that her whole life had led her up to this point.

He was a great dancer. The sweat was beading on his forehead, his hair was a wild flash of jumbled white-ish yellow, his feet were alive, his face was intense. He watched the floor and moved like Elvis. There was almost a lazy precision in the way he knew these dances. Marie swirled through the moves. She knew them, too. Practicing, as every girl did, for a dream moment like this. She was full of him, this stranger was racing through her blood, and yet had barely even looked her in the eyes. He was confident, commanding. The drum of pounding feet was a high-spirited heart-rate, she was exhausted and invigorated. Swing yer partners: his hand was on her waist, she was swinging out from him so she held onto him tightly, her eyes fixed on the spiked knot of hair where it met his forehead. He watched the floor, mouth hanging open in stylish concentration.

And then she was looping around behind someone else's back, then all joining hands and marching down the room together: this was the moment of triumph. Spirits were high, a smile on every face. They could have marched like that forever. It was Marie's favorite part of dancing. Shyness gone in the glory of the moment, she kicked her dainty heels with extra flair. She got satisfaction from the way her long skirts billowed out around and behind her, looking like a fast, dashing, low-flying cloud.

The march was over, and their hands were intertwined. She vaguely felt callouses on his hands, remembered them feeling warm, not like the clammy, slippery hands of the boys from Bale County. Then she was spinning away again. Take it from the top. She saw Fred dancing with Susie Roe four sets down from them. His eyes were wild and his tongue was hanging slightly out of his mouth. She glanced Julie standing near the stage, watching Marie, pale with shock.

She was happy, happy, happy. She couldn't have felt more beautiful, she didn't care that Julie would probably slap her later. She didn't care if life returned to normal after this and nothing exciting ever happened to her again. Every time she washed the dishes, from now until her dying day, she could think of this one dance in the Adam's barn with Brett. Brett. She laughed and threw her head back the next time he swung her. His eyes rested on her for a moment, for the slightest moment. She tucked this moment away like a polished pearl in her sash.

Nothing about Marie's life changed in that moment. But Marie changed. She knew, suddenly, that Fred was no good for her, even though she would probably end up marrying him. She knew that she would always carry her chin high, and that no girl could ever look down on her again and have it matter to her. Trouble was, a dreamer was born.

"Mall Walkers"

Brisk trot of ladies walking. They are short and curvy and trim. They are dressed in blue jeans and printed turtlenecks with sweaters tied around their waists. The laces of their white tennis shoes are double-knotted, and they wear small earrings and Disney watches. As they walk, they keep looking at those watches. They want to make sure they use every second of their time together efficiently. Because that’s what they are. Efficient moms of older kids, with fifteen minutes of “girl time” before picking up teenagers from school. They talk about their first school dance. They knew each other way back when.

A multitude of dragging chains do not hinder this mall-walker. He strides the halls, hating everyone, sometimes even the girl at his side. He thinks he’s hardcore, but all he’ll ever really be is “mallcore.” Black socks pulled up to calves under long black shorts. Black “sk8er” shoes. Those kicks cost him a shift’s worth of wages. A shift at Taco Bell, where he’ll mumble at you through five lip piercings.

Thinks-he’s-handsome looks at you and winks, but he can’t say “hi” because he’s talking on his hands-free. He’s wearing $200 jeans that look like they couldn’t decide which color blue-jean dye to use, and after they fought about that for a while, they started shooting holes through the pair. Glossy black spats encase big, silly, slapping steps. His pink and purple shirt is tucked into the jeans. His short brown hair is gelled and peaked down the middle. He looks like a gay million bucks, but he just works at Cool Waves.

Fast, purposeful steps direct slim legs toward Express. A bejeweled, long-nailed hand holds a cell phone to her ear. Her hair is shoulder-length, layered, straight, and streaked about 50 different shades of blonde. Her purse is short-strapped and crammed under her narrow armpit. Spindly stilettos give her walk that crisp “clip.”

Scuffling stride in light-up sneakers. A little girl with wispy brown hair, caught up in a star-studded pink hair band. She trails parents twice her height, and they have places to be. Her sherbet colored sweater is slung over her shoulder, to hide the thumb she sneaked into her mouth. She looks at you with young eyes. You are startled. She is too young to judge. She is too young to look at strangers with an air of distrust. You don’t see many eyes like that anymore.

Quick, no-fooling gate follows a Gymboree stroller. Her high heels are green and her toes are pointed inartistically outward. Tight designer jeans appear to squeak uncomfortably with each of her many steps. Her “fashionable” tank top is tasteless. Her head swings side to side like an anxious bloodhound. She is too aggressively looking for a man.

Calm, purposeful strolling of a curly, white haired grandmother with a tortoise shell comb at the nape of her neck. Her specially designed grayish white shoes deliver as much comfort as they can to her aching legs. Her belly is pushed out. She is unworried, old, happy, and comfortable. The deterioration of her back and hips do not trouble her today. She is looking wonderingly at a culture far different from the one she knows. Hers is a look of discovery.

Slow meander of leather-tasseled business shoes walk around pleated slacks. He is looking up at the walls, walking aimlessly. An architect? A bored husband mall-hostage? He does not glance too long at passing females. He is bored, but he is not restless.

Big-reared, hip-swinging moms in perpetual “wedgie” jeans don their four-year-old’s pink plastic backpack. They wear jowly, fussy frowns, and hair that shows the strain of too many missed showers. They look tired, ashamed. Where did our lives go?

Self-assured, non-showy walk of an unremarkable, well-dressed woman. She is middle-aged, and her fingers are intertwined with her husband’s. Her golden high heels glint with each step under the sun from the skylights. She picked a good one. 

Power-walking Dad with a triplet stroller surging ahead of him. He wears a baseball cap – forwards. Old school. He is a veteran. He is buying feminine products.

"Hodgepodge Christmas"

It was late, late at night, the time when all of them probably should have been in bed, sleeping, so the morning could come faster. Instead they sat listening to those familiar, formal words: “I have called this press meeting to announce…”

“Rob,” Coral cut in softly, remnants of sleep clinging to her usually clear voice. “Must you always begin like such a nutcase?” She finished, sluggishly, a little giggle creeping in under her last word, despite her slightly grumpy mood.

“Darling,” Rob replied patiently, though he pretended to be annoyed, “we’re a family of nutcases, you included. And that’s why you love me.” Coral, in response, crossed her arms over her chest and settled deeper into the overstuffed armchair with a feigned huff of indignation.

“Besides, you’re far too old to be giggling,” he continued in a stern voice, though his eyes twinkled merrily. At this, he finally got the response he wanted, for three little hands raised to cover snickering mouths, sticky with candy cane residue. “Back to the matter at hand.” Coral stretched a lazy arm to pluck a candy cane from the nearby Christmas tree, knowing she wouldn’t be able to make it through a meeting at this hour without a little sugar.

Megan, the youngest, with curly black hair and dark chocolate skin that belied her adoption (just like the other hodgepodge kids) was losing interest fast. She turned her small four-year-old face toward her mother and buried her slimy mouth into Coral’s rumpled, short hair. As you can now see, this was no press conference like they have at big expensive law firms that call meetings at all hours of the night (and on Christmas Eve, no less). The attendees, sporting tousled hair and bleary eyes, donned sleepwear rather than business suits.

Fearing he was losing his audience of four’s interest, Rob decided he better engage the young folk. “George – you’re a smart young chap. You’ve been around for, say, twelve years?”

“Thirteen, Daaad!” George howled predictably, though he couldn’t help laughing. “And I know what you’re going to ask me, `cause you ask me every year. You were going to ask-”

“Not so fast, my boy, not so fast,” Rob patted George’s outrageously red hair with a large hand. “I was going to ask Faye.”

Faye, shy and demure, curled up at Coral’s bunny-slipper clad feet fairly lit up from the attention from her worshipped father. She turned esteeming, doe-brown eyes on him and rubbed a delicate, muddy brown hand over her pink lips. She was eight, and her straight brown hair hung in long, skinny braids to her lap.

“Come here, Princess,” he offered, opening his arms to envelope her in a bear hug from where he sat on the cushiony footstool across from his wife and children. Faye leapt up without a sound and bounded in a skittish, deer-like way over to Rob. She wore a long, cotton nightgown with pink roses and blue ribbons and lace. It was utterly deplorable, and therefore the dream gown of any little girl. Two matching blue ribbons were fastened at the end of her braids. One was untied.

George couldn’t resist giving one of her braids a teasing tug, but as it was Christmas Eve, it was overlooked (though Coral prodded him with the velvet nose of her bunny-slipper). With Faye happily settled on her daddy’s knee, Rob felt ready to continue by asking her the question he had been about to ask his son. “Now then, darling. What are we here for?”

Nearly trembling with excitement, in a silvery, whispery voice so rarely heard that even a sleepy Meg lifted a fuzz-encrusted cheek from her mother’s red flannel shoulder to hear her, Faye spoke. “We-we’re h-having our a…annn…”

“Annual,” Coral helped, beaming happily through her tangles of sticky hair. She began trying to wet-thumb the goo from Meg’s cheek, who endured it with the serenity of a saint (though only because she had already fallen back asleep).

“Annnnnu-el Christ-mes m-meeting,” she finished, breathless and triumphant, a shine of victory in her down-turned eyes.

“Christmas Eve meeting,” George corrected, though not in an unfriendly way. He rubbed an affectionate palm on Meg’s soft hair and then turned to look at Rob as he began speaking again.

“Yes! As I was saying…I have called this press meeting to announce that it’s CHRISTMAS tomorrow! We’ve already dreamed of sugar plums-”

“For none too long, though,” Coral commented from her chair, smothered by children, but perfectly blissful.

Rob continued as if he hadn’t heard his lovely (though bedraggled) wife. “We’ve dreamed of sugar plums, put presents under the tree, and now…” He looked down at the early Christmas present he had received from his three kids: a McDonalds watch. “…We have exactly one hour to go deliver those presents before it gets light out. Are you ready?”

Both Faye and George snapped into action. Despite their sleepiness, this was the night that they looked forward to all year long. Faye ran to get her coat and shoved her narrow feet into boots without socks on. George, leaping and hollering much like adolescent boys who forget that they’re growing older do, snatched Megan and began to stuff her unresponsive legs into snow pants.

The children (including Rob) were dressed and standing by the door before Coral began stirring from the chair. With an indulgent laugh, Rob helped his wife into her coat and tenderly brushed corkscrew curls from her eyes that glared at him in jest. While he was tying her boots, she re-wrapped his neck scarf out of habit.

“Ready, guys?” Rob asked, after he had picked up the bag of presents and pushed wavy blonde hair off his forehead. Faye pranced behind his leg, clapping her hands together. George bounced Meg up and down on his hip, and Meg was finally fully awake and shrieking “PRESENTS! PRESENTS! PRESENTS!” over and over.

As they opened the door to head out of their house in the pre-dawn twilight, Coral gently grabbed the collar of her husband’s coat and kissed him softly on the cheek. George immediately took up the cry of “Mommy and Daddy sittin’ in a tree…”
She laughed into his graying beard and said gently, “I think that was a successful press meeting, Honey.”

Rob looked at her adoringly through his wire-rimmed glasses and winked. “Merry Christmas, Sweetheart.”

"The Day We Fought The Rain"

It’s late in the season, and we’re in unfamiliar territory. School goers are restless. Studious thoughts are turning into sugar-coated summer dreams. The distance between the catcher and the fence behind him is unusually brief. That could mean trouble. The boys don’t have a feel for the field, and they aren’t looking too interested in making introductions.

It was some drive out here, and then: drip.

“Hey fellas; looks like rain.” I look darkly from sawdust all-to willing to turn to sludge, to my dainty white sequined slides, and back again.

“Maybe just a little sprinkle, boys,” says coach in his notoriously heartening voice.

I’m already noticing a tint of hummus to my shoes. “Serves me right,” I scold myself. “Wearing summer shoes during baseball season!”

A few of the boys have already eyed my shoes warily. Glittery slippers in the dugout is a new sight to them. “Poor dears. What will the other team think of our boys? ‘That’s what happens when you let a girl into the dugout. Suddenly everything starts sparkling, for goodness sakes.’”

Splat. A glance at the scorebook reveals a splotch of running ink and a smeared spot in the line-up. Shoes and the consequences of vanity are forgotten in an all-out war between dry, legible scorekeeping and a soggy sky. Plink, plink, plink. The fellas are bustin’ out their jackets and hoping lightning will send us home. Coach has vengefully started into the seeds, daring the rain to defy our victory. I recruit a jacket from a fallen soldier’s back (a player who went to warm up) to keep dry our team’s “precious.” No, not the scorebook (that’s hiding under my jacket, pregnant lady style). Our stash of seeds.

Now, a stash of seeds is important. Seeds are the secret of the game (or so I’ve gathered, from my limited girly perspective). Think of them as little nuggets of baseball spirit. Seeds put you in the mood. With seed hulls dribbling out from the corners of your mouth, you are Babe Ruth. You are indestructible. You are free to act as though you understand every rule of the game. You may pretend to be able to intercept signals passed from the opposing coach to his players. You may glare out from beneath the visor of your baseball cap and narrow your eyes against the rain, acting like you don’t feel the wet.

You are encouraged to chunk enormous levels of shell bits when a teammate executes a muddy, beautiful slide into third (and cheer your heart out like it’s home). You may chatter aggressive, unintelligible baseball jargon at the enemy forces, with your mouthful of seeds stuffed intimidating into one cheek. You may (even though you’re a girl, and only just a manager) spit saliva-soaked hulls through the chinks of the dugout fence. You get to stamp once pretty, but useless, shoes into the cloddy earth, and mutter angrily with your countrymen at the injustice of a bad call from a clearly biased ump. That is, for me, the glory of baseball.

"Boy In A Tea Shop"

You are walking around the tea shop as I sit writing this to you. My eyes leave the page to watch you with your fly-away red hair and bright lips. “Write me a love note!” you had demanded, your gray eyes sparkling. Then you jumped up from where we sat, eating scones. Now you are gracefully, pensively admiring the fine china tea kettles, knowing that I’m watching you. You always know when I’m watching you – you’ve told me so, and I believe you. You usually know everything. And that’s why I don’t know why you’re trying to get me to tell you in this love note since you already know.

This is where we met, three years ago when my weird grandma dragged me in here to buy a tea cozy. You were sitting at this same table – alone, journaling. And when I came over, you didn’t look up. When I introduced myself, you didn’t answer. Instead, you handed me the journal and told me you needed a “distanced opinion.” Having, of course, no idea what that was, I read your thoughtful scrawl, and when I was finished, had no idea what I had read. I think you took pity upon my inartistic mind.

You made me your project, and we met there every day that summer. And the next. Suddenly, we find ourselves out of summers. Neither one of us talks about it, just like we never talked about the end of any of the other summers. Now, you’re going to college abroad. I don’t have the heart to stop you. I’m going to college in the states. I’ll be majoring in Shakespeare.

I look up again, and I see you admiring a hand-painted teacup. My eyes trail over the rest of the interior of the tea shop. It is impossibly small. Always run by the same ancient woman and her almost-deceased Yorkshire terrier. No one else is ever in here. It seems as though this tea shop stayed open only for us. And now, we’re never coming back. It seems wrong to acknowledge it aloud. It’s not our style.

I would do anything to hold on to you forever. But you already know that, and neither one of us can talk about it. You’ll probably smite another needy man with your unintentional charm. I know how it’s going to happen. You’ll be painting at an outdoor café in Paris, and a native will come up to you. You will be totally uninterested until his excessive praise of your painting reveals him to be utterly artistically challenged. Then you two will spend the weekends meandering through museums. And since he’ll be a man in Paris rather than a little boy in a tea shop, he’ll be able to tell you how he feels.

Lyrical Prose

Pieces of prose nestled in between lyrics of a song.  It is best to listen to the song while reading, although you don't have to.  Lyrics are italicized.

"Ready Or Not"

Song: "Who Knows" Natasha Bedingfield
Story:  Guardian Angel: The Return by my friend Stephanie (read part one of the novel first!  Here)
Characters: India and Nick


The room was dim, except for the sparkly candles on the cake. One of the newest agents was having a birthday, and we were throwing a small celebration for her. She attempted to blow out her trick candles and laughed. The crowd offered encouragement, and eventually a small applause formed. The party was taking place in the HQ's bar, shut down and decorated for the understated event. The guests stood around in evening casual, holding flutes of creamy champagne. A myriad of small, low lights highlighted silver tinsel and the shiny black dance floor. I held a glass of red punch and watched the birthday girl in contentment. Soon it would be my birthday, and it would be nothing like this party. My dad was planning on making a huge fuss over me, as usual. I secretly wished I could never be the center of attention again. I just didn't find it fun.

Now that people were done singing happy birthday, and since the birthday girl had finally gotten all of her candles under control, the music started back up. It was a sassy, girly song, like most on the play list tonight. The birthday girl's favorites.

I'm in like with you Not in love with you quite yet My heart's beginning to Slightly overrule my head

One of my friends from the agency began talking to me. She was sweet, and I liked her. I felt kind of apathetic about her friendship, though, and right now, I just wished she would leave me alone. I preferred to be alone often. It made me feel…less alone. Nick's company was the only that I really connected with. Though I knew I didn't need to, I still felt guilty about that sometimes. Nick and I had been dating, I guess, these past three, almost four, years. Granted, it wasn't very much like a normal relationship. We were much more friends than we were romantic. Of course, I knew that Nick had feelings for me, I had begun to develop them for him, again. But it was too fast for me. Terry was still just as real to me as on the days when we had been together. Well, my memory of what he looked like and felt like had begun to fade, but the feelings I had for him back then were just as strong… I had to let Terry go.

Oh no, oh no My self control It won't hold up for very long Oh no, oh no You touch my soul I can't help falling too fast for you

My girlfriend eventually wandered away, unfazed by my usual polite and aloof conversation. There really was no one like Nick. He had been patient with me all these years. Not pushing himself on me…we still hadn't even kissed. I had to smile to myself, recalling that Terry hadn't been that patient. But it felt disloyal. I had loved Terry all my life, and it's not like we broke up. I knew I couldn't hold on to him forever, and I didn't want to. I wanted to have a normal life again. A normal life with Nick. I was done wishing for what couldn't be. Yet I didn't want to move ahead with Nick before my feelings for Terry were gone. I wanted to be fair to Nick. I didn't want our love to be tainted by a love for someone else.

Can you hold on a bit Stop before we go 'cause I might need a moment And I wouldn't wanna spoil it

I didn't feel uncomfortable standing there myself, even though everyone else was talking or dancing. I liked to stand still and wait. I had grown comfortable with silence and aloneless. In a way, it had become an asset. I had become more comfortable with myself. Or I had just stopped caring about awkwardness or difficulty… My eyes caught Nick's and I smiled. He smiled back, raising his cup to me from across the room. He knew how to give me space, and he knew how to be there. He deserved someone who came alive in his arms. I didn't know if I would ever come alive again. But I wanted to.

Who knows if I am ready or not Only time will tell Who knows if we are ready to make this something Who knows

After we looked at each other happily for a few moments, he made his way over. He looked amazing in all black, with his casual black linen jacket moving gracefully with his manly limbs.

"You look beautiful," he said warmly, and I felt pleased. I brushed one hand down my simple black dress. I wore eclectic, tribal jewelry given to me by Nick from his last trip. I liked the weight of it on my neck and wrists. Giving him a genuine smile, I spoke the truth. "I feel happy around you, Nick."

Maybe this is love But I haven't fallen in quite yet

His brown eyes lightened. Some of the seriousness lifted. I knew that he saw it as his purpose in life, and I told him every chance that I got. I wanted us both to believe that I was getting better. And I think I was. My heart felt open to him, but I wasn't sure in my mind if it was okay.

"Dance with me?" He offered, with no pressure.

Oh no, oh no My self control It won't hold up for very long Oh no, oh no You touch my soul I can't help falling too fast for you

I longed for it like an alcoholic longs to drink. I wanted the release of being in his arms, of being held. I wanted to move around the floor, close to his body. To feel cared for. "Perhaps on a different song," I recommended, gently. My mood didn't match the singer's apparent confidence, even in her uncertainty. I needed something more easy on me to be able to interact with it.

Can you hold on a bit Stop before we go 'cause I might need a moment And I wouldn't wanna spoil it

"Of course, you just let me know," he said, not too seriously.

"Would you like to walk out onto the balcony?" I suggested, never liking to deny him.

"Gladly!" We strolled out onto the patio and enjoyed the fresh air whipping in gusts around us. I touched my undyed hair. I kept myself looking very nice, but I just didn't feel the need to express myself anymore. Nick was leaning on the railing, looking out across the grounds. I was so grateful for his lack of expectancy, but still, I wanted to give him something.

"Hey Nick?"

Who knows if I am ready or not Only time will tell Who knows if we are ready to make this something Who knows Who knows

"Yes?" He turned casually and looked at me.

I smiled and leaned down next to him on the railing, holding my cup over the edge, my wrists crossed. "You're wonderful."

"I know," he responded, not with pride. He was used to me saying this sort of thing. It no longer got his hopes up.

Can you hold on a bit Stop before we go 'cause I might need a moment And I wouldn't wanna spoil it

Shrieks of laughter sounded from inside as all the girls got on the dance floor and danced together…always producing funny results. I smiled quietly and looked down at my hands.

Who knows if I am ready or not Only time will tell Who knows if we are ready to make this something

This was my life now. Nick finished the last sip from his glass and reached for mine, downing it.

"Heyyyyy," I laughed.

"I was thirsty," he shrugged.

I glanced away, too quickly.

Who knows if I am ready or not Only time will tell Who knows if we are ready to make this something Who knows

Knowing, as he always knew, when he did something that reminded me of Terry, he gently placed a hand on my shoulder before leaving to throw the cups away. He returned and waited patiently by my side. He made some small talk, about upcoming missions, and made me laugh (which was the whole point) but then he fell silent.

Who knows Maybe, maybe not Who knows Maybe, maybe not Who knows Maybe I will, maybe I won't Who knows

I watched the fireflies by the lake, enjoying the peace that cocooned me. Nick's hand reached out and slid in between mine, curling around one. We stood like that for a long time, holding hands, and watching the sparkling in the grass.

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